Hospitals Fight CMS Rule That Would Cut Disproportionate-Share Hospital Funds
DSH funds are intended to support hospitals' uncompensated-care costs, helping facilities that serve large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients. A final rule released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandates cuts to that money beginning in fiscal 2020. Other hospital and health system news is reported on Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Trinity Health, and value-based pay.
DSH Fund Cuts Face Difficult Fight From Hospitals
Hospital groups are beginning to push back on the CMS' plan to cut Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital funds. DSH funds are meant to help hospitals with uncompensated-care costs, an area that could grow with a recent increase in the uninsured rate. ...The CMS on Monday published a final rule for calculating $4 billion in state Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital cuts for fiscal 2020 and $8 billion for each subsequent year through 2025. (Brady and Cohen, 9/24)
We Reported On A Nonprofit Hospital System That Sues Poor Patients. It Just Freed Thousands From Debt.
The city’s largest nonprofit hospital system has erased the debts owed by more than 6,500 patients it sued for unpaid hospital bills, less than two months after announcing an overhaul of its debt collection processes. The dramatic shift was prompted by an MLK50-ProPublica investigation that revealed that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare filed more than 8,300 debt lawsuits from 2014 through 2018, including against its own employees. (Thomas, 9/24)
Trinity Health May Issue $1.7 Billion In Debt
Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Mich., is considering the refinancing of $1.7 billion in debt, with $1.4 billion of that amount likely to take the form of taxable bonds. The debt under consideration for refinancing represents about 22% of the system's $6.3 billion in total long-term debt. The remaining $300 million in debt may or may not be issued as a tax-exempt security, but would be issued to cover the cost of the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of new and existing Trinity Health facilities or the refinancing of such expenditures, according to a municipal bond filing. (Barr, 9/24)
Industry Group Passes 50% Mark For Value-Based Pay Deals
A group of major payers and providers said its member organizations shifted more than half their business to value-based payment arrangements in 2018, while aiming to hit the 75% mark by the end of next year. The Health Care Transformation Task Force announced on Tuesday that 42 member organizations had 52% of their business in payment arrangements involving global budgets, bundled payment or shared savings deals by the end of 2018, up to 47% the year before. (Meyer, 9/24)